‘Soulful songwriting, gospel-esque harmonies and falsetto-filled vocals make for a truly stunning track.’
Intro to Luke Burr:
Luke Burr possesses a rare combination of qualities: a knack for accomplished songwriting, the creativity to rework tracks in an unrecognisable way, the ability to bend genre rules and a voice to deliver it all in an incredibly soulful way. Quite a list I’m sure you’ll agree. But each is true. Having already had backing from BBC Introducing and performed sell out gigs at London venues, last week saw his cover of ‘What You Won’t Do For Love’ air on ITV’s Love Island leading to a true buzz around his music. If you’re new to Luke’s tracks, you
could indeed start anywhere, but if you want to hear how great his music is right now, ‘Keep on Loving’ will give you everything and more. Read more at: Behind the Music: Interview with Luke Burr
Beginning with chilled, free form organ chords and atmospheric crowd noise, a true sense of context and tonal centre is found immediately. Feeling sparse, it ensures the track has somewhere to go and transitioning to synth brass and heavy, yet sporadic beats the multitude of influences start to show their incredibly musical colours. However, with the lyrical content about to emerge, they become even more colourful.
Delivering the opening line of ‘Take me to church…’ Luke ensures completely that our attention is instantly grabbed. Sure it’s soulful, but it goes beyond that. It’s full of expression. It’s full of immensely impressive inflections and every word is full of real meaning. Sitting above the growing, but still sporadic accompaniment, there is no doubting where our focus is to be. However, with the fragmented backing developing, you find yourself appreciating everything equally.
Each vocal and instrumental phrase, whether melodic, rhythmic or atmospheric, locks into the next resulting in everything sounding as one. If only one element were to be removed, the whole effect would be completely different. Potentially wrong even. But teetering on the edge like it does, it feels, and more importantly sounds exactly right. As does the chorus.
Shifting subtly from the feel of the verse, the emergence of synth-centred swells signal the chorus. Perfectly harmonising the already harmonically set title lyrics, the sound grows to reveal one of a more sustained nature. Combined with the rhythmic fragments from before, it’s a showcase sound and mixing modern jazz-funk lines with alternations of sparse and heavier textures, there is an abundance of interest. The interest doesn’t just come from this though.
Centred entirely around repetitions of the phrase ‘Keep on loving baby, I’m with you’ you may wonder how just how this can be the case. The answer though is actually quite simple: set each one completely different. In fact, set it so differently that you don’t realise the lyrics are the same. This, as you’ve probably worked out, is exactly what Luke does. One minute it’s soulful and harmonised, the next it’s falsetto filled and impassioned. Vocally it’s truly stunning.
With the second verse and a further rendition of the chorus being just as impressive as the first time round, on exiting it for the second time, the sound suddenly changes. Becoming the most sparse of the track, the brooding sounds are gone and replaced by delicate synth and piano, a real moment of musical softness occurs. Containing more gentle rasps and touching inflections – most notably on ‘say you won’t leave’ – it showcases Luke’s skilful songwriting beautifully. But this is about to be pushed even further.
Signalling the start of the final chorus, a truly gospel-esque setting of those ever-recurring title lyrics take us out of the bridge. Set differently and feeling more powerful due to the initial lack of accompaniment, you could easily listen to it again and again in exactly this form. But like before, the changes are to come. And what changes they are. Soaring off to new heights, Luke pushes and pushes his falsetto range while the instrumental elements of the track, including wonderful jazz piano lines, provide the most perfect of accompaniments. Faultless in every way, it ensures we will keep on loving the music of Luke Burr.